Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Yesterday, the 7th, was the 59th birthday of our Diocese of Miami, the Feast of the Holy Rosary. We became an archdiocese 10 years later. The mysteries of the rosary recall the saving events in the Lord’s life as well as the beginning of the life of the community of believers, the church. Particularly, when Pope St. John Paul II added the Luminous mysteries, he filled in the space between the boyhood of Jesus and his passion and death.

Those mysteries are very special for me. In the first mystery Jesus comes to John the Baptist asking for baptism. John says, “What are you doing here? You should be baptizing me.” Jesus says to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

There is a great footnote on these verses (Mt 3:14¬15) from the NABRE – New American Bible Revised Edition – that I’m stealing and quoting verbatim.

This dialogue, peculiar to Matthew, reveals John’s awareness of Jesus’ superiority to him as the mightier one who is coming and who will baptize with the holy Spirit (Mt 3:11). His reluctance to admit Jesus among the sinners whom he is baptizing with water is overcome by Jesus’ response. To fulfill all righteousness: in this gospel to fulfill usually refers to fulfillment of prophecy, and righteousness to moral conduct in conformity with God’s will. Here, however, as in Mt 5:6; 6:33, righteousness seems to mean the saving activity of God. To fulfill all righteousness  is to submit to the plan of God for the salvation  of the human race. This involves Jesus’ identification  with sinners; hence the propriety of his accepting  John’s baptism.

That’s my underlining. There is Jesus standing in line with the sinners. He is saying, “I’m with them. I’m one of them.” After His baptism he goes into the desert for 40 days of preparation for what will be a most difficult mission.
As I write this letter, I’m thinking about all the brokenness that has come from the hurricanes. God forbid anyone think I’m trying to smooth over those hurts and deprivations with pious stuff about Jesus making it all better. He won’t.

Or will He? What does it mean to be a member of the body of Christ? He WILL do it because WE will do it at his request and his promise: “As often as you do it for one of these... you do it for me.” In other words where two, three, or a whole parishful are gathered together, there He is, in the midst! So the sooner we get to work with the outreach, the more and the quicker we will touch Him hand in hand, and face to face.

Sometimes, people get leery of contributing to charities because they wish they could see a specific face or have a particular name. I know the more personal I can make my giving, the better I feel about it. But you know what? It also reminds me that I need to have a little faith in people and groups trying their best. So, I make the best judgement I can, but I’m not going to let that keep me from the giving.

That brings me to the second Luminous mystery, the wedding feast at Cana. That scenario is another favorite of mine. In John 2:3-5 Mary tells Jesus, “They are out of wine.” Then we hear a response from Jesus that has always given me cause for pause. “Woman, how does your concern affect Me? My hour has not yet come.” Then Mary tells the waiters, “Do what he tells you.” What is He going to do? From time immemorial one truth that has borne the test of time is, “Listen to your mother!”

Sometimes, it is easier to talk to your mother. I was blessed with a great mother. Not everyone is, but ALL of us are blessed in Mary. Happy month of the Holy Rosary.
In Jesus, an obedient Son,
sign frjim

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